Who We Are
(Photo: Taken June 2009, on a trip to Washington D.C. I thought I might like to be a lawyer and work in politics at the time, so I was in awe of the Capitol Building.)
What a week, huh? Hard to believe we’re only one week into the new year, especially when it feels like we’ve lived a whole year in this one week.
When I decided to bring this blog back, I told you I didn’t know what we’d talk about but that I promised I would be authentic. There are a lot of things I’d love to talk about, like my Peloton (I’m not sorry I love it), but I can’t ignore what’s happening right now.
What transpired on Jan. 6, 2021 was sedition. It was an an attempted coup by domestic terrorists. That’s what it was. Full stop.
There were two images from Wednesday that have stuck with me since. (And, full transparency, I shared this on my personal Facebook too, so some reading this will have already read it there.)
The first photo was of a noose that was erected on the West Front of the Capitol Building. It hung from a wooden beam, as Trump flags flew in the background.
The second photo is of rioters in “Make America Great Hats” smiling as they walked by a door vandalized with the words “Murder The Media” written on it.
This is America.
“But this is not who we are,” you might say.
Unfortunately, it is. It doesn’t have to be. It certainly shouldn’t be. It is who we are though.
We have a lot of work to do. It’s going to take time, I know, but it begins with acknowledging that this is, in fact, who we are.
And, for me, part of acknowledging that is by speaking up on it. I’m not going to pretend I know everything. I’m not going to pretend I won’t stumble through this or make mistakes. Heck, I messed up in speaking on this just yesterday!
But I also understand my privilege in being able to have spaces where I can tune out. I also understand my platform. Maybe someone will say I’ll lose readers or followers or whatever. So what if I do? I understand my brand, to a degree, is my business but I also want you to know what my brand stands for. I promised I’d be genuine. What’s more genuine than that?
I’m going to end with a video from one of my favorite follows on Instagram: Danielle Prescod. Danielle challenged influencers and people with influence (we all have platforms, no matter how big or small!) to use our influence for good.
Please read her words. Please watch the video. All of it.
This is where I’m at. I don’t want to be afraid to tell you where I stand. I don’t want to be afraid that you’ll leave me because I’m standing up for what I believe to be right. Maybe that loses me some followers, but it is what it is. A number on Twitter or Instagram or TikTok doesn’t define me.
Because I can’t ignore what has happened, what is happening, what we’ve allowed to build for years. This is America, but it doesn’t have to be.
P.S. Want something actionable you can do right now? I’m a big fan of contacting my elected representatives. It doesn’t matter if I supported them or not, because they all should be held accountable. I know it’s not always easy to pick up the phone and call, so I have a solution for you.
Text RESIST to to 50409 and Resistbot will help you “turn your texts into a letter, and deliver it to the elected officials you choose: from your state legislator to the President.” So, for example, if you’d like to see the 25th Amendment enacted, you can tell Resistbot “25th” and it’ll handle the rest.